Tonight, the Sixers and Los Angeles Lakers will face off in their first of two meetings between the squads on the season.
The Sixers are in the midst of their toughest stretch of the season, a 12-game span that stacks the team up against a quality opponent each night. Halfway through, the Sixers are 4-2 with wins over Minnesota, Indiana, Houston and San Antonio, and losses to Oklahoma City and Denver. The Sixers are coming off of shorthanded loss in Denver, where the team was missing Jimmy Butler (wrist), Wilson Chandler (hamstring) and Joel Embiid (rest). They’re 6-4 over their last 10 games.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are nearing the end of a lengthy stretch of Lebron-less basketball, as the future hall-of-famer finally returned to practice in recent days for the first time since straining his groin on Christmas Day. Currently, the Lakers sit 1.5 games out of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot. They’ve been able to tread water without the King, going 5-5 over their last 10.
Whichever team loses tonight surely won’t have to wait long to seek revenge, as the Lakers will be in Philadelphia on 2/10.
The Sixers will be rejuvenated tonight as Butler, Chandler and Embiid are all set to start. In particular this figures to be an exciting game for Embiid, as he returns to the scene of his career-high 46 point, 15 rebound, 7 block performance last season. Sixers rookie big man Jonah Bolden, however, will miss tonight’s game with a sore right achilles.
For the Lakers, in addition to Lebron’s absence:
The Lakers say that Kyle Kuzma (left hip) is out vs PHL tonight. Josh Hart (knee tendinitis) will play.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 29, 2019
Lonzo Ball will continue to miss time with an ankle sprain that should keep the guard on the shelf for 4-6 weeks.
Michael Beasley is rumored to be entering the starting lineup, which should be entertaining for better or worse.
One more wrinkle: tonight’s game features a head-to-head matchup between Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, the #1 and #2 picks in the 2016 draft.
So put on a pot of coffee and take a midday nap, we’ve got some late night hoops on tap.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
When: 10:30 pm EST
Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, TNT
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic